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Apr 23, 2013 | Gulf of Alaska Project | 0 comments

by Olav Olmseth

Hello from the GOAIERP inshore survey!  I am aboard the F/V Seaview and we are in the middle of our first of six research cruises this year. We left Juneau on April 16 and steamed south towards our first study site in Whale Bay, on the outer coast of southeast Alaska. We were delayed a bit as we had to hole up in a small bay for awhile to escape gale-force winds, but soon enough we were launching our research skiff in the protected waters of Whale Bay’s Great Arm. We immediately set about sampling the fish community with our various gears: hydro acoustics, jigging, a surface trawl, beach seines, and a small purse seine. As we had anticipated, fish catches were pretty light: the last breath of winter has yet to leave the outer coast. On our last day in Whale Bay we did our oceanographic sampling: we have a multi-sensor water-sampling instrument that measures temperature, salinity, light levels, oxygen levels, and several other pieces of information. We also sample zooplankton using a fine-mesh net, and collect water samples for measuring nutrient loads.

It’s not all work though-we managed to enjoy a steak dinner and an amazing sunset off the outer coast, including the fabled “green flash” just as the sun dipped below the horizon. We also had a German chocolate cake to celebrate not one but two crew members’ birthdays. 
From Whale Bay we headed north to Sitka Sound, conducting acoustics and oceanography work around St. Lazaria on a beautifully sunny day. We overnight end in Sitka for a brief rest and re-supply, and this morning we now head north to Salisbury Sound to start our routine all over again!


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